Cape Town - Former Springbok flank André Venter presented the Springboks with their
match jerseys on Friday morning at their team hotel in Cape Town.
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Venter played in 66 Tests for the Springboks between 1996 and 2001 and
was a member of the team that won the bronze medal at the 1999 Rugby
World Cup in the United Kingdom.
He has been in a wheelchair in recent years after being struck down by a
degenerative syndrome of the central nervous system called transverse
myelitis. He is a successful businessman and also a motivational
Venter shared some inspirational words with the Springboks before he
presented the match 23 with their playing jerseys for Saturday’s clash
with New Zealand.
"I can see there is something special happening within this group," said
Venter to the current crop of Springboks, and urged the players to
embrace the responsibility of wearing the Green and Gold.
"It is important to believe in what you're doing and where you're
heading. The Springboks have an unbelievable history and you must be
able to write your own chapter."
Venter had the honour to present the Bok players with their jerseys on
two previous occasions, and said he was extremely grateful and blessed
to do so for a third time.
The honour of playing for the team and your
country is something that is not easy to describe,
"Only when you're no longer playing and not part of that unique circle
anymore, that is when it dawns on you how special the Springbok
environment is. My advice to the players is to enjoy the experience and
to make a telling contribution to the rich story of
the Springboks," said Venter.
Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth described Venter as probably the hardest
man ever to play for the Springboks.
"He epitomises everything you want
in a great Springbok, so it was an unbelievable honour to receive our
Test jerseys from Andre."
Saturday's Test is scheduled for 17:05.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames
Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 David Havili